Is Google Exaggerating Android Success 'Very' Much?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt didn't mince words about Android during last Thursday's conference call, saying, "It looks like Android is going to have a very, very strong year."

He particularly stressed the success Android is having among handset makers and netbook vendors, and intimated that Google is often surprised about new announcements because "Android ... is open source, where literally the devices we hear about near the announcements, so the open-source part of the strategy is working."

He added:

"There are announcements happening between now and the end of the year that are quite significant from operators and new hardware partners in the Android space, which I won't preannounce except to say that they really do fulfill much of the vision that we laid out more than a year ago. On the netbook side, there are a number of people who have actually taken Android and ported it over to netbook or netbook-similar devices."

Sounds great. Except maybe it's not all that much.

Some vendors, like Motorola, have been "silent when it comes to discussing their Android road map." And Sony Ericsson is quoted by the Washington Post as saying it will take some time to build a handset based on Android. The Post reports that Sony Ericsson's CEO Hideki Komiyama told Reuters, "It does require a lot of evaluation, as well as a lot of testing, a lot of acceptance from a consumer viewpoint, and there is still some time to go."

Om Malik also got a surprise regarding Motorola's plans to use Android as the OS for a new set-top box:

"When I asked about Motorola's Android-based set-top boxes, she said: "We have no plans for an Android-based set-top box." Just to make sure, I e-mailed and asked her if she meant that the original Information Week story was incorrect and that at this time Motorola isn't working on an Android-based set-top box, either for KDDI or for others. Her response: "correct.""

Questions for Eric Schmidt: Is touting Android to the market a way of making it seem like an inevitability? Does it make sense to raise expectations that won't be met?